Travel / Tourism

Sri Lanka makes aggressive pitch for India’s MICE tourists

Views - 3 Thursday, 24 January 2019 01:32

India’s leading trade show on business, MICE and luxury travel, the Business & Luxury Travel Mart was held at The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel in New Delhi last week. Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John

Amari Galle celebrates first anniversary

Views - 6 Thursday, 24 January 2019 01:25

One year ago, the historic city of Galle welcomed ONYX Hospitality’s third property to Sri Lankan, Amari Galle. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, surrounded by lush greenery, the 172-room Amari Galle beach front property is looking forward to another e

CNN Travel selects Santani as one of the Best Wellness Retreats for 2019

Views - 5 Thursday, 24 January 2019 01:23

One of the top travel publishers, CNN Travel has selected 11 wellness retreats across the world as the top retreats to visit in 2019. Given that worldwide wellness was a $ 4.2 trillion industry and that $ 639 billion was dedicated to wellness tourism

Tel Aviv to hike tax for short-term rent providers like Airbnb

Views - 14 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

ERUSALEM, AFP: Israel’s economic capital Tel Aviv on Monday announced plans to raise taxes for short-term accommodation provided by services like Airbnb to match an increase in long-term rentals. “The aim is to create an equilibrium” between t

Emirates introduces entertainment playlist syncing ahead of travel

Views - 15 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

Emirates has introduced an innovative new function on its app to allow customers to create bespoke playlists ahead of their flight and sync it to their seats once on board. Customers can plan their trip more effectively, and maximise their onboard ex

TAJ welcomes top Russian delegation

Views - 35 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

The delegation from Russia were warmly welcomed by Taj Samudra, Colombo Hotel Manager Pulkesin Mohan this morning at the hotel. The Russia-Sri Lanka Friendship Society arrived in Sri Lanka for strengthening the bilateral relationship further between

Sri Lanka successfully participates in SATTE 2019

Views - 30 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

India’s biggest travel and trade engagement show ‘SATTE’ was held at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida from 16 to 18 January. In its 26th edition, the three-day event bagged an excellent response with market leaders increasing their stand s

Scoot to launch flights to Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India

Views - 24 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Scoot has unveiled plans to launch flights to Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India. Scoot aircraft at Changi Airport in Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of Flights to Trivandrum will operate five times weekly and

World’s largest underwater park to open in Bahrain

Views - 43 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Bahrain is set to become a global leader in the field of ecotourism as it plans to open the world’s largest underwater theme park, said a report. Details of the new project were revealed in a statement issued by the Personal Representative of His M

Thailand extends visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries

Views - 72 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

The Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries until 30 April. Previously, the exemption of the visa-on-arrival fee was originally scheduled to end on 13 January. The extension will

TUI to launch first carbon-neutral destinations in 2020

Views - 19 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

HELSINKI: TUI Group, the world’s largest leisure tourism company, will start offering carbon-neutral destinations to Nordic holidaymakers next year – with a long-term goal of turning all its destinations carbon neutral for Nordic travellers. To s

SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Views - 294 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou

ComBank joins with Alipay to facilitate QR Code-based payments for Chinese tourists

Views - 43 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Chinese travellers visiting Sri Lanka can now enjoy a host of goods and services and pay for them through ‘Alipay’ – China`s leading mobile payment platform, thanks to a partnership between Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC and Ant Financial Servic

Cyprus smashes tourist arrivals record in 2018

Views - 26 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

NICOSIA (AFP): Cyprus welcomed a record 3.93 million tourists last year, smashing the previous record set in 2017 by a whopping 7.8%, official figures showed on Thursday. The eastern Mediterranean island has benefited from its reputation as a region

Japan sees record 31 million tourists in 2018

Views - 25 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

TOKYO, AFP: Japan welcomed a record 31 million foreign visitors in 2018, official data showed Wednesday, as the country gears up to host the Rugby World Cup this year and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The world’s third largest economy, also known for i

Sri Lanka takes centre stage at Vakantiebeurs

Views - 45 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Netherlands being one of the top 10 sources markets for Sri Lanka has seen a steady growth of arrivals in the recent years. Last year alone, the numbers totalled 57,000 by December 2018. In an effort to capitalise on the growing trend of Dutch touris

Aussie businesses complain Google sending outback tourists off the map

Views - 41 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

SYDNEY, AFP: Tourism operators in Australia’s vast outback say wild inaccuracies in Google Maps are making remote hot spots appear out of reach, deterring people from visiting the region. A number of businesses promoting their small towns as remot

Kuwait Airways cruises Sri Lankan airwaves with Legends 96.6

Views - 47 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Hot off the heels of its recent expansion into Europe and the Mediterranean, Kuwait Airways, the national airline of Kuwait and an Airline with a monumentally impressive and colorful history in Sri Lanka that spans over four decades, is now set to ta

Cathay Pacific makes second first class blunder in two weeks

Views - 49 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

HONG KONG, AFP: For a lucky few, it’s the gift that keeps on giving: a Cathay Pacific snafu offering premium tickets at a fraction of their value, for the second time in less than two weeks. On its website Sunday morning, Cathay was offering first

Srilal appointed international board member of Asian Eco-Tourism Network

Views - 37 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Srilal Miththapala, senior tourism industry personality, has been appointed to the Board of the Asian Eco-Tourism Network, (AEN) with effect from 1 January 2019. He will initially function as a non-voting member on the board, for a period of six mont

WTTC unveils finalists of 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Views - 39 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the 15 finalists for its 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The 2019 finalists are organised into the following new categories: Climate Action, Investing in People, Destination Stewardship, Soci

Sri Lanka Insurance ‘Travel Protect’ insurance relaunched with unique benefits

Views - 39 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

The insurance giant Sri Lanka Insurance sets new standard for the travel insurance market providing exclusive benefits for travellers with the re-launching of Sri Lanka Insurance ‘Travel Protect’ insurance policy. For the first time in Sri Lanka

The Eden Resort continues to bag top local and global accolades

Views - 71 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

The Eden Resort & Spa in Beruwala, Sri Lanka which is the flagship resort of Browns Hotels & Resorts recently won top awards in the hospitality industry. These include the prestigious, globally acclaimed ITS Red Star Award and the Silver Award at the

The Galle Face Hotel appoints Nalaka Dissanayake as a Cluster Director of HR

Views - 53 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

South Asia’s leading grand dame, the Galle Face Hotel is testimony to the colonial past and Sri Lanka’s independent present. Celebrated within the hospitality world, and being the oldest hotel East of Suez, it is a property that had the world’s

Emirates announces network updates for 2019

Views - 45 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Emirates has announced adjustments to its operational schedules in 2019 to minimise the impact of the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway in April and May, and to respond to global travel demand trends. The airline also outline

Tourist arrivals on upward momentum

Views - 132 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

An exotic destination, a prime bucket-list country, low on the travel radar is now teeming with tourists. Sri Lanka’s international endorsements, leisure additions, increased connectivity has positioned her as a must-visit destination. With the adv

HI-AIM 2019 in SL to promote MICE tourism

Views - 116 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:50

In a bid to promote MICE tourism in the country HI-AIM (Hospitality Industry-Architecture, Interiors and Management) has organised its eighth conference to be held in Sri Lanka this year. “This is a green conference and it is special because of th

MICE tourism expected to increase tourist arrivals by 20-25% this year

Views - 87 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:45

It is expected that MICE tourism will increase by 5% this year while contributing 20-25% to the overall tourist arrivals of the country, said industry experts recently. Speaking at a press conference this week, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau Chairman K

Sagala takes immediate actions to standardise whale watching boat services

Views - 86 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:40

A special meeting headed by Minister of Ports and Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka, was held recently, at the ministry auditorium, to discuss issues related to the whale watching business popular in the Mirissa tourism region. Acco

oneworld is best alliance for on-time flights for 6th year running

Views - 29 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:37

oneworld is the best alliance for on-time flights, according to FlightGlobal Incorporating FlightStats, the leading airline industry data services and solutions technology company, which ranks oneworld as the alliance with the most punctual airline o

Today's Columnists

10-year challenge: Has Sri Lanka made progress in last decade to become financially-literate?

Thursday, 24 January 2019

The ’10-Year Challenge,’ Facebook’s latest social media phenomenon has taken the internet by a storm. People are posting a picture from 10 years ago alongside their current profile picture or some other photograph and the transformation through

Catwalk beyond 400 PPM – Consuming towards disaster!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Catwalks sizzle! What’s on the catwalk – the skin, the silk, lycra parading endlessly broadcast to the world whatever new and popular in clothing and accessories and it also communicates desirable dimensions too in a not-too-subtle manner. Knowi

Rolling back big government – The next big challenge

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Preliminary estimates in the 2019 Budget to be presented on 5 March this year include an income of 2.5 trillion and a debt service requirements of a whopping 2.2 trillion, leaving only a net income of 0.3 trillion. As for expenditure, the Government

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